Bett1ACES Berlin: Tops & Flops

bett1ACES Berlin (photo: Florian Heer)

BERLIN, July 20, 2020

The 2020 bett1ACES in Berlin is complete. Six days of international top tennis played on two different surfaces at two interesting venues. What went well, where is still room for improvement?


+ The venues
Both, the venerable Steffi-Graf-Stadion, located at the venue of the LTTC Rot-Weiss in the Grunewald district, and the Hangar 6 of the Berlin’s former International Airport Tempelhof were factors of success for the tournament. Exceptional and spectacular.

+ The line-up
The women’s as well as the men’s draw were led by a top 10 player. With Jannik Sinner and Alexandra Vecic, some of the rising stars were also in action. An interesting mix that also led to high quality matches.

“We saw absolute world-class tennis. That was not a matter of course because there has been no competitive tennis in the past four months,” said tournament director Barbara Rittner.

+ Media’s response
International journalists on site and live broadcasts on television. A lot behind the scenes looked like at a regular ATP or WTA tournament.

+ The surfaces
The bett1ACES was probably the shortest ever grass-court season in the history of professional tennis. Players at Grunewald competed on this surface for three days. One of them was almost washed-out due to bad weather but playing on the lush green always conveys exclusivity. In Tempelhof matches took place on hard court. And the choice of color? At least not blue. Almost a unique selling point in these times. What seemed to offer a change on site gave many viewers criticism on the screens. It seemed to be difficult to follow the ball on TV.


– Withdrawal of players ahead of the start
Despite an undoubtedly strong line-up, the fact that Alexander Zverev and Nick Kyrgios pulled out of the event hurt. It would have been nice to see the two superstars in Berlin, also because of the previous skirmish between the two. Zverev also missed the opportunity to take a position in Germany concerning his participation in the Adria Tour and his questionable behavior during the subsequent period of quarantine.

– High admission fees
The ticket prices were hefty. More than 120 Euros had to be paid for entry. Not a bargain for everyone. As a consequence, especially during the first part of the tournament series on grass, there was still room for improvement in terms of numbers of spectators.